The warm Agulhas Current flows southward down the eastern coast of South Africa creating sub-tropical paradises. Just back from the Indian Ocean, which can feel like bath water to some of us northern hemisphere travellers, beyond the beach, tucked into the coastal forest, you will find one such paradise.

There are very few, if any resort style hotels in KwaZulu Natal, like those found in Europe where the grounds run to the beach. Well, here at Zimbali Lodge the hotel grounds do run to the beach and on the beach, you will find sun loungers, tables & chairs complete with parasols to offer shade from the heat of the sun. And if you do not want to feel the warm sand between your toes or the ocean waves splashing against you, then just stop at the bar. Yes, there is even a bar with restaurant, café, and swimming pool. And yes, here too there are plenty of sun loungers and places to sit and just take it easy.

On arrival at the lodge, after checking in, we were chauffeured to our room in a golf cart. There was always a cart and driver available if you needed a lift or wanted to be dropped off at the beach ensuring complete relaxation. Our room was stylish, luxurious, well-appointed and big, like the bed it contained, with ensuite bathroom including both a bath & shower. The patio doors led to the balcony where you really feel engulfed by greenery, bird song, and the occasional call of a vervet monkey. Zimbali, in Zulu, translates to “Valley of flowers”. And dotted among the various shades of green there are flowers, flashes of colour, providing nectar to a huge variety of butterflies.

The main lodge is a grand building spanning two floors with views over the greenery down to the warm Indian Ocean. The focal point is the palm tree lined infinity pool surrounded by walkways and patio. There is a main restaurant, dining area, where we ate a great buffet breakfast, and a smaller bar and restaurant where we dined in the evening. The quality of food was exceptional. The spicy chicken livers and lamb chops and seafood linguine we would highly recommend. There is also something very special about dining here outside on the patio in the warm night air complete with all the sub-tropical sounds that accompany it. I must also add that the service was exceptional and in true KwaZulu Natal style, everything came with a beaming smile from those that looked after us.

For complete relaxation take advantage of the spa and book yourself some pampering on the spa deck. For those more energetic you can follow a forest trail, you might be lucky like us and spot a bushbuck (antelope) or walk the beach. There are tennis courts and an excellent golf course where clubs can be hired.

The lodge is ideally located only twenty minutes from King Shaka International Airport and just over thirty minutes from the city of Durban. The town of Ballito is a few minutes’ drive from the lodge entrance gates. Ballito is a busy seaside town with great facilities and plenty going on. This is truly a resort in all senses of the word where you can spend some quality time. It is far from a stop off point between other places. You have everything here you need for a great holiday. And if you get the urge to explore then you have the option to, knowing that your base with all its amenities and comfort awaits you on your return.

Zimbali Lodge Dream Resorts SafariKZN

About Author

People say that Africa has an effect on your soul and Mark Henson the ‘author’ of this site is no exception. He first travelled to South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1993 and has been coming and going every year since. Twice now most years!

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